KasiFootball : There is so much talent in the country, Mark Haskins

KasiFootball : There is so much talent in the country, Mark Haskins

Discovery Walter Sisulu Soccer Challenge is an initiative that captures the attention of not just the football loving fans in Soweto but legends of the beautiful game.

Both fans and players wait in anticipation for this four-week long spectacle that is currently in its third week.

Former Bidvest Wits & Supersport United star, Mark Haskins believes that the Discovery Walter Sisulu Soccer Challenge showcases the best of South African football by bringing true ‘kasi’ flavour to the forefront of soccer development in South Africa.

Haskins, whose side, Bidvest Wits Juniors is currently competing in the tournament, has long been a keen observer at the games in past years.

He tells of how he enjoys the fact that teams arrive each year with the aim of not only winning matches, but to also hone their unique skills that they bring to the South African style of football.

“There is so much talent in the country, but not everybody can make it as a professional,” Haskins says.

“The Discovery Walter Sisulu Soccer Challenge gives players the opportunity to not only feel like a superstar for a day, but also the opportunity to share a brotherhood and active lifestyle with their fellow counterparts”.

The former midfielder also believes that the experience for his Under-17 side is also a rich one and invaluable for their development as players.

“It is a chance for them to play at a higher level and learn new skills, whether technically or tactically. They get to know more about other elements of the game, such as studying the opposition, stage fright etc.”

Haskins has further edged Soweto football loving fans to come in numbers & enjoy football spectacle at their doorstep.

“The crowds that come out to The Nike Football Centre are always eager to be entertained, they know that they will get to see some talent and skills by attending the matches, especially from players who love to make an exhibition of their opponents.”

Discovery’s Experiential Marketing and Sponsorships Manager Kristy Cunningham says the programme supports Discovery’s key purpose, which is to encourage people to be healthier, thereby enhancing and protecting their lives. The tournament is pivotal for development of young players in South Africa and allows top players to showcase their talent with a fully immersed fan base.

The overall prize money for the winners of this year’s tournament is as follows:

  • Winners Open category (56 Teams) – R100 000
  • Winners Under 17 (32 Teams) – R20 000
  • Winners Ladies category (16 Teams) – R15 000

In addition, for this year’s tournament, Discovery will be once again reward exceptional individual performance through player awards.

These player awards, which are valued at R1 500 each, will go to the following winners:

  • Player of the tournament
  • Top goal scorer
  • Goalkeeper of the tournament